In our 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing we always talk about starting with self and creating a ripple effect out there in the world – whatever that may mean for you.
In this Student Insights interview, one our 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Adelaide graduates explains how the course helped her bring back a gold medal for Australia in the World Masters Athletics!
Wellbeing Coach – Self Employed
Adelaide – 2014 – Alumni
What drew you to complete the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing?
After commencing life coaching in 2007, I stumbled across Positive Psychology on the internet in 2011. I had been searching for something to take my coaching to the next level and Positive Psychology immediately resonated with me. I actively sought out ways I could formally study it, which was quite problematic back then. I did various certificate courses from America while constantly hunting for something in Australia. I began using my newly acquired skills in my coaching with significant benefits, so I was very keen to develop it further.
Then in 2014 Professor Martin Seligman arrived in Adelaide as a ‘Thinker in Residence’ and I attended every lecture that he gave. I guess you could say I became a bit of a stalker of Seligman and Positive Psychology, absorbing anything that I could get my hands on as I continued to witness the benefits for myself and my clients. Then one day I saw that the Langley Group Institute had launched the DPP. At last! Something real and in Adelaide….I booked immediately.
How was your experience of the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing?
I felt it was really beneficial to have already been using a lot of Positive Psychology tools, so that when I was doing the Diploma I felt things could consolidate quite easily. The most unexpected part for me was the depth of neuroscientific explanations, to show how these tools make a difference. It wasn’t just the ‘how’; It was the ‘why’ that I got my greatest gains from, and that makes the largest difference to my clients.
The biggest shift in my coaching was then to share what’s happening in a stressed brain with my clients, and how these PP tools can help them to shift that. When my clients know the ‘why’ they are far more inclined to use the tools and stick with them.
Another great part of the course was the experiential approach to learning. Hearing the science that sits behind it, and then experiencing it, really enhanced my learning.
Best of all were the facilitators. Their depth of knowledge and experience was so evident. I really respected and valued that they clearly walked the talk.
How are you spreading your positive ripples, and how has the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing helped you achieve this?
The Diploma boosted my confidence with helping others. Using the knowledge that I gained from the Diploma helped me develop a new approach to coaching that improved client outcomes. From this I’ve developed a Positive Education program that I run in new school for disengaged young adults. Running this program, coupled with one-on-one coaching has been quite profound for many students.
I also developed a Leadership Wellbeing Program with my older sister. We have melded her extensive leadership experience in globally listed companies, with my years of experience practicing Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, to offer a high-end leadership wellbeing program for CEOs and Executives. The best part about this for me is that it is allowing me to work to my life vision of positively influencing as many lives as I can reach. When it starts with CEOs and Executives, it can have a much broader ripple effect to others.
Outside of the incredible impact it has had on how I can serve others, I had a very recent example of how the learning from the Diploma continues to positively influence my own life.
In September 2018, I travelled to Spain to compete in the World Masters Athletics, representing Australia in the Women’s 50-54 age group in the 100m, 200m, 400 and 4 X 100m relay and 4 X 400m relay. What an incredible honour and privilege. However, the training regime to prepare for such an event requires training six days a week (three on the track and three in the gym), eating clean, little or no alcohol, ice baths, foam rolling, stretching and loads of training during the depths of winter.
To keep me mentally strong and able to attend all trainings, I leant into many of the tools that I had learnt on the Diploma. I regularly used my top Character Strengths of gratitude, zest and hope to move me from the warm house to the freezing track. I wrote a positive goal that kept me inspired to keep going. I wrote a letter to myself from my best future self, reminding me of all the rewards that lay ahead if I put in the work.
I used the ‘power pose’ when I felt intimated by the exceptionally fit women from all over the world who were lining up at their starters blocks next to me. I used daily mindfulness meditation to bring a sense of peace to my mind and body. Any time my aching old body felt too sore, instead of being disappointed with it, I used gratitude to thank it for all its hard work. That’s just a few of the many tools that I wove into my two years of training for this event.
The outcome? I came home with a gold medal in the 4 x 100m relay, a silver medal in the 4 x 400m relay and we broke the Australian record in both (plus we were only 0.4 seconds off breaking the world record in the 4 x 100m relay!) I also ran a personal best in the 200m and very close to one in the 100m.
I absolutely know that this level of achievement would not have been possible had I not had all the range of Positive Psychology tools to lean into. I’ll be forever grateful for this Diploma.
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